Tropical Storm Ian continues to gain strength Sunday in the Caribbean as forecasters expect it to soon reach hurricane status as it threatens Florida. Ian is tracking northwest towards the Cayman Islands and western Cuba, and could reach the regions by early Monday.

"Ian is expected to be a major hurricane in the eastern Gulf of Mexico during the middle of the week, but uncertainty in the long-term track and intensity forecasts is higher than usual," the National Weather Service posted on Twitter.

The NWS forecasted heavy rainfall for the west coast of Florida and the panhandle by the middle of the week. The storm can potentially reach Florida by late Monday as a major hurricane.

President Joe Biden postponed an upcoming trip to Florida and issued an emergency declaration for the state on Saturday. The Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency have begun coordinating disaster relief efforts.

In a statement on Saturday, Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for all 67 of counties. DeSantis encouraged Floridians to make preparations.

The rapid intensification could mean that Ian becomes a Category 3 hurricane.

In a Twitter posting on Sunday at 1:54 p.m. ET, the National Hurricane Center said that "significant" wind was expected for western Cuba. The Cayman Islands and Cuba could face major flash flooding amid heavy rain.

"S​torm surge flooding of up to 4 feet above normal tides may occur in the Cayman Islands Sunday night into Monday. In western Cuba, a life-threatening storm surge of up to 14 feet above normal tide levels is possible Monday night into Tuesday in areas where winds blow onshore," the Weather Channel forecasted.